Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Br'er Rabbit and Br'er Bear still locked away

I produced this article for MSNBC.com today, "Will 'Song of the South' rise again?"

The Disney film has never been released on video in the U.S. because it's been criticized for insensitive racial attitudes, all of which sailed completely over my head as a little white girl seeing it as a kid. All I remember were the neat combination of live acting and cartoons, and the cool song "Zip-ah-dee-do-dah!" ("Everything is satisfactual!")

I swear I saw it in the theater, so according to that article, I must have seen it either in 1972 or 1980, neither of which seems a likely year. I'd be interested to see it again, if nothing else, just to see for myself what all the controversy is all about.

7 comments:

donajo said...

I agree with Disney's decision not to release it on DVD, because the Uncle Remus character is pretty offensive. But I do wish that there were avenues for adults to see the film.

Anonymous said...

It was released in some kind of format, because I remembering seeing it at elementary school on a rainy day when we couldn't play outside at recess. (in a Twin Cities elementary school, I should note)

And I was born in 1978, so there's no way I was watching it at school in 1980.

Sweetie Darling said...

I definitely saw it in '72 and have an extremely well-loved and battered hardcover book that was released around the same time. Would love to see it again.

Snarla said...

Yeah, I bet somebody at Disney isn't owning up to the fact a racially offensive movie was shown in theaters later than 1980. I remember seeing it in the theater and I don't even have memories from before 1982 or so. (I was born in '77). In fact, if I remember correctly, I was well into grammar school when I saw it.

Snarla said...

Oh wait, nevermind. The article says it was shown in '86, so that's when I saw it. Pretty amazing. I don't think they ever mention in the movie that Uncle Remus is supposed to be a slave so I think that went over my head, even though it would be obvious to an adult.

JulieT said...

What was offensive about the Uncle Remus character? I saw it so long ago that I don't really remember anything about him other than he was a bearded, old African-American man.

S. Smith said...

I have a copy I bought off the internet a few years ago. Will try to send you a copy.